Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cauliflower Cheese

When I was a child, cauliflower cheese was as common as macaroni and cheese. When one was offered, usually both were.  My mother's homemade mac and cheese left much to be desired.  However, her cauliflower cheese was my go-to comfort food, and still is.  Somehow, it's missed the resurgence of macaroni and cheese. It seemed to disappear just before low carb diets took off years ago. Here at the cottage, I'm happy to keep this old fashioned favorite alive.  I have improved the recipe quite a bit over the years.  I've come around to the classic approach, while still keeping it gluten free.

Monday, April 7, 2014

An Honor To Prepare the Deacon's Luncheon

With great pleasure, I accepted the honor of preparing the deacon's lunch for the staff luncheon at church.  She also has celiac disease, and was pleased that a special meal could be made for her in a gluten free kitchen.  I am making a humble soup and salad, with another couple of women bringing a salad and gluten free desserts.

Today, I made my broth as I normally do.  I always have home made chicken bone broth on hand.  Tomorrow, I will thicken the soup with a potato starch roux, instead of flour.  I haven't decided whether I'm doing a cream of celery, or a vegetable soup.  I have the makings for a club sandwich with gluten free deli meat, Udi's gluten free white bread and my own homemade mayonnaise.  I think the secret to a really amazing sandwich is the homemade mayo; there's no substitution.  I prefer grapeseed oil, when I can't afford the French olive oil (which, is almost always.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good Broth

A Good Broth feeds the soul.  It is so much more than stock.  It's the go-to for illness and fatigue.  It's warmth and comfort.  It's scraps and ends transmogrified into glory.  Knowing that rubbish cures the common cold brings a smile to my face.  Other people throw away chicken bones and soggy celery.  I seize them like treasure.  After hours bubbling away in the stock pot, I savor the expressions of those savoring the broth.  I relish the assurances that I've created something amazing and healing.  I boiled up bones!  That was it.  Nothing remarkable.

The Cottage now smells amazing.  The scent lingers long into the night.  I make stock often enough that from October to May, the house never quite loses the note.  With any luck, this particular batch will comfort the colds the boys suffer with now.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coconut Sugar?

Here at the Cottage, I've decided to cut back on the sugar for all of us.  I, myself, went sugar free months ago, excepting when out socially.  Now, we are on the last bag of sugar for the other family members.  It's going very slowly, since I'm not using it.  When it's gone, it's gone.  After that, I'll be trying out other options.  The first on my list will be coconut sugar.  I don't know if it will make acceptable home made cookies.  I am making very few gluten-free versions of foods that might use any sugar.  We've moved in different directions, and it may be easier to go without.  We'll see which new approach works best for us.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Successful Amaranth Flat Bread Wrap

I have a few tweaks to make before I have the final recipe.  However, I did it; I made a gluten free flat bread.  I made a wrap sandwich with it.  It was great.  I couldn't believe it.  It took inspiration, unusual technique and boldness.  I can't imagine too many others have stumbled on what I did.  I'm so impressed with my innovation, that I don't quite know if I want to post my recipe here for free.  I may hold back and publish it otherwise.

I was amazed to discover I had a use for amaranth.  I have struggled with what to do with my amaranth flour.  I knew that others have had success with amaranth tortillas.  Tortillas are the traditional recipe for eating amaranth.  Somehow that didn't work in my kitchen.  The texture was all wrong.  They were too difficult.  The flavor was too strong.  Then, I had a revelation.  Amaranth does not need to piggie-back on maize flour.  Amaranth can be its own star.  It doesn't need to be an add it for nutrition on another dish.  It takes approaching it with a different eye, though.

That's enough of a tease for one post.  However, I would love to see some amaranth inspiration out there.  I wouldn't want to be the only one rediscovering just what this food can become in brave kitchens.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lacto-Fermenting Gluten Free Crepes

I tried lacto-fermenting my gluten free crepes overnight.  As with the gluten flour, it is sublime.  I made crepes just as delicious as the French do.  It is absurdly easy, as well.  All I had to do was blend the flours with the milk, and add a tablespoon of live-culture whey poured off the yoghurt.  I set it at room temperature overnight.  Then, in the morning I added the egg and melted butter, and made the crepes.  No need to let it sit for at least twenty minutes, as I would if I were starting first off in the morning.  Crepes are faster this way.  Both steps seem easy-breezy, when broken down into these two parts.  The texture is amazing.  My only regret is that I added sorghum flour.  I should have kept it to millet and rice.  Next time, I'll try that.  Either way, I have my final version of excellent crepes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Tweaking the Millet Rice Crepes Recipe

The texture and color of the millet rice crepes continues to be superior.  I have found it.  Repeat batches only confirms my first impression.  I could serve this to a general crowd without apologizing that it is gluten free.  Now, it's time to add in the additional magic: soaking the batter overnight.

Really, it only means making the batter ahead of time.  Any mother should be clued into this technique.  Instead of trying to do everything at once, break down tasks into steps.  Do as many of the steps ahead of time.  It's a far greater time saver than always defrosting in the microwave or ordering take out.  Those convenience options only add in more time on the shopping or the waiting or picking up the take out.  They are a false economy.

One of the extra benefits to soaking overnight comes from lacto-fermentation.  It transforms the texture from ordinary to sublime.  It's the secret the French aren't letting the rest of the world in on.  Just a reminder: it's not complicated.  I add in some live culture whey from my plain yogurt to the recipe and let it sit.  Just a few hours in the yoghurt maker, longer at room temperature - I don't have to do anything skill-wise.

I've been distracted from my lacto-fermentation, during my transition to gluten free.  Since the allergy concerns were paramount, I knew I had to focus on how we could live as a family.  Plus, none of the other gluten free sites concerned themselves with my interest.  Perhaps there might have been a token nod or a passing response.  Maintaining one's conventional life, but with a gluten free twist, seems to be the most common approach.  Few of the traditional food sites address celiac disease or other allergens.

I'm not reporting here on my success. I'm writing mostly to remind myself to do it.  Not to loose focus or get distracted - there is a wonderful reward at the end.